Join the debate with Jeff Randall

Sky's flagship business programme Jeff Randall Live is lauded by PR professionals as a great way to get exposure for clients. It is broadcast four times a week in more than 40 countries across EMEA and has an average weekly reach of 417,000 viewers. The show has just been extended to an hour, offering more potential for coverage.

Jeff Randall in the Gherkin studio
Jeff Randall in the Gherkin studio

But getting a CEO to rattle off a pre-rehearsed script is not an option, says the show's producer Dafydd Rees. Interviewees need to be ready for a tough debate.

The programme's profile has been raised over the past two years, changing frequency from once to four times a week in 2008, and then getting its own studio in London's iconic Gherkin this February. It has also broken a series of high-profile stories, including the 'Forces of Hell' interview with Alistair Darling in February.

Rees says the show was extended because of this success and audience research: 'We've found that people love Jeff's depth of knowledge and authority on business affairs. So we will use the extra time to go more in-depth. We will also broaden our agenda, looking at important business stories.'

Rees is keen to emphasise that the show is aimed at a mainstream audience and competes with programmes like Channel 4 News and Newsnight rather than niche business media: 'We try to look at the world through a business lens; it's not a narrow business show. It's for the business community, but also a broad range of people who are interested in the world of money and how it affects them.'

MS&L London's MD corporate George Godsal agrees the show has broad appeal because 'it tackles the serious business issues of the day, but in a way that is widely accessible to Sky's audience'. He adds: 'This makes it a very popular slot for many of our corporate clients.'

The main thing PROs can contribute to the show is high-profile guests. But the interviewees must be on top of their game. Rees says: 'I'm looking for high-profile, persuasive guests who are prepared to discuss general topics rather than talking exclusively about their latest pitch or product. What PROs need to get into their heads is that we are not the show to talk to you about your annual results. We want you to talk about the state of the economy in general.'

Lansons Live's head of broadcast Pernille Taylor has placed a number of clients on the show, including Metro Bank and moneysupermarket.com. She says: 'If you are a dynamic CEO of a financial company who is prepared for a lively and engaging debate, this might be the programme for you.'

But make sure your client is up to the task. Godsal warns: 'Randall is a seasoned operator, and his affable style is no cover for razor-sharp questions. Clients going on the programme need to be well prepared and should expect a tough but fair line of questioning.'

 

QUICK FACTS

Show times: Monday-Thursday 7pm8pm

Channels: Sky News HD, Sky Channel 517

Viewing figures: Average weekly reach of 417,000 (source: BARB/TNS)

Audience demographic: 56 per cent are ABC1s, 62 per cent are aged 45-plus

Contact: Dafydd Rees 020 7337 6063

Katrina Bishop 020 7337 6061

 

A MINUTE WITH ... DAFYDD REES, PRODUCER, JEFF RANDALL LIVE

 

Dafydd Rees

What are you looking for?

I am trying to explain business to the general viewer and get the business community to engage with the wider news agenda. I am also very interested in innovations. I am keen to talk to British businesses that are innovating or have big ambitions.

Any tips for PR professionals?

In practical terms, we want all our guests to join Jeff in the Gherkin studio in London in order to be able to get face-to-face engagement and personal rapport. What doesn't work is the run-of-the-mill press release about financial results, or 'didn't we do terribly well in our quarterly sales figures' stories.

What are your deadlines?

It's a daily show so each morning we are reacting to the business agenda. Being realistic, really high profile business leaders' diaries fill up weeks or months in advance, so we can plan ahead but we will always be reacting to the news agenda in the morning. We are a breaking news channel so we can be flexible.

How should PROs get in touch with the show?

Speak to me or producer Katrina Bishop. The two of us are working at trying to attract the biggest names in the business.

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